What it means to win an Independent Publishing Award

1 How did it feel to win the Haremi Digital Publishing Award?

It felt wonderful, and a validation of our efforts. The Half Yard Sewing Club was completely designed and developed by an in-house team working closely with our author Debbie Shore, and we believe it’s the first truly online subscription sewing club. The Club operates in a niche and traditionally female interest area, and most of the developers we explained it to were male and sceptical about its prospects. Even when we found a development partner we had to challenge their design ideas and presumptions about how the website would be used. We knew it had to be very simple and fun for people to use: we felt we achieved that, and the Award showed the judges agreed.

Caroline de la Bedoyere, Search Press

It was really gratifying to know that our digital piece was viewed so well, especially given the other offerings that were being considered. We also won the Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year for the third year in a row; we were absolutely convinced that it wouldn’t be us this time, so it’s great to know that the Awards are considered on merit each year. Knowing that we can be ranked above other non-Christian publishers and not be locked away in that particular publishing genre really helps us to tell our story with authors.

Alexandra McDonald, SPCK

2 How has the Award impacted your business?

It definitely helped with staff morale. Everyone involved, whether providing material, editing copy, marketing the site or answering customer queries, was thrilled that our first major digital effort had been recognised and rewarded.

Caroline de la Bedoyere

We made it a big deal with staff and had champagne in the office at the unveiling of the Award. We shout about it on our staff email signatures and it certainly seems to be picked up by people who interact with us.

Alexandra McDonald

3 Have you used the Award to promote your business?

We told our developers about the Award, and they were very pleased as it was the first publishing-related project they had ever worked on. We work very hard at being the best publisher within our niche and all Awards help validate our claim to publish the world’s finest art and craft books.

Caroline de la Bedoyere

As well as appearing on our email signatures all year round, the Awards are displayed in the office and we make mention of them in all correspondence with authors, customers and partners.

Alexandra McDonald

4 What advice would you give to other publishers thinking about entering the Awards in 2020?

Anyone who can should enter the Awards. It’s fantastic if you win, but even if you don’t writing your entry is a wonderful way to look back on all you have achieved and give yourself a pat on the back before moving on to your next bestselling idea!

Caroline de la Bedoyere

Go for it. We didn’t win the first time we put ourselves forward, but even then it was great to be considered alongside our peers. No-one ever won anything by keeping quiet about themselves!

Alexandra McDonald

For more about the Independent Publishing Awards, click here.